Kids and Neighbors

Activists and Awards

For decades, St. Elizabeth’s Guild has laureled Orleanians as Volunteer Activists. The first were in 1971. Flip the last two numbers and we come up with ’17, as in 2017, and this year’s Constance Albert, Dianne Breaux, P. Kevin Colomb Sr., Carol V. Hall, Russ M. Herman, Nora Nolan Lambert, Joyce W. Laporte, Paula Peterson Pizzaloto, Linda D. Sunseri and Cindy Schule Wooderson. During this 47th annual presentation, they were recognized for outstanding charitable, cultural and civic volunteer services to the community. Named to the Hall of Fame 2017 were Cheryl S. Cabes and Peter R. Quirk. Applause, applause!

The site for the Volunteer Activists Award Luncheon was the Empire Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The doors opened at 10:45 a.m. and the awards and luncheon followed at 11:30 a.m. But before that, the silent auction bidding commenced. The auction was put together by Suzette Herpich (joined by husband Rudy) and Kathy Mitchell and consisted of 148 coveted items. Additional features were the Parade of Prizes, chaired by Gaynell Pervel and Colleen Cloninger; raffles, with Margaret Diaz winning Southwest Airlines tickets; the fashion show by Dillard’s, narrated by Joan Ingram; and entertainment by the Victory Belles, compliments of the National WWII Museum. (According to TripAdvisor, the museum is the city’s number one attraction and the number two museum in the US and the world.)

To launch the program, Mark Romig strode forward as the master of ceremonies. The next one up was Kathi Zimmerman, president of St. Elizabeth’s Guild, which supports the many needs and well-being of various children’s programs serviced by Catholic Charities. The guild’s logo features an archway and a crown atop that symbolizes the royal life of St. Elizabeth, Queen of Hungary, who cared for the poor at the city gates. Archbishop Gregory Aymond gave remarks and the invocation and then luncheon Chairwomen Lisa Baynham (with husband Pat) and Anne Favret addressed the 580 attendees.

Among the notables were family and friends of the two Hall of Fame initiates and the 10 Volunteer Activists, such as Nancy (Mrs. Kevin) Colomb, who represented the J. Edgar Monroe Foundation, and Sandra Herman, who with honoree Russ figured in the Hope category of donors; Steve and Donna Stumpf, representing the Salutare Deum Foundation; and Cindy Paulin, representing Angel Wings Foundation. Also, Frank and Paulette Stewart, Julie Vanderbrook, Kathleen V. Robert, Cheryl Quirk Landrieu, Sally Duplantier, and Judge Jay and Joy Zainey.

Lunch beckoned with a Creole tomato and red beet salad, barbecue glazed chicken, and a peach clafoutis with dark chocolate sauce. The centerpieces were boxes arranged tower-style and wrapped with St. Elizabeth’s Guild specially designed paper. They were topped with white hydrangeas. Silver star balloons decorated the stage along with arrangements of white flowers and delphinium. All the while, the Victory Belles enchanted with their singing of such spunky numbers as “Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree” and patriotic ones, namely “God Bless America.”

The Dillard’s fashion show highlighted 40-plus pieces with 15 celebrity models catching the eye and ovation. Closing remarks capped the event which, along with providing chockablock entertainment and activity, made children the concern.

A Neighborhood Nod

Chatter was animated and pervasive as 200 neighbors came together for the Garden District Association’s Fall Affair, an annual fundraiser at Commander’s Palace. The invitation’s list of benefactors ranged from A-W with the names of Be-Be and Ken Adatto to David Winn and Frank T. Bennett. Thanks tapped Ives Business Forms for the invitation that featured lush foliage and a bird of paradise, which inspired both the featured cocktail, “Bird of Paradise,” and the colorful table centerpieces done by Steve Baker Designs.

Benefactors gathered at 6 p.m. for a special reception, which was followed an hour later by a cocktail reception, all in the restaurant’s patio, and then dinner at 7:30 p.m. The main course was veal osso bucco and the dessert, a citrus flan. Paired with the various courses were Cote du Rhone wines. Johnny Parker's song were a hit.

The invitation’s mastheaders were the chairing fivesome of Sue Peters, Isabel and Moye Sanders, and Anne and William Summerour, as well as the host force of Ella Brennan, Dottie Brennan, Lally Brennan and Ti Martin from Commander’s.

Then there were GDA President Jenny Charpentier with John; Treasurer Bill Gahagan and Molly; Secretary Liz Creel and Terry; Tina and Deryk Jones, whose nearby home is the setting for the annual Halloween party; Jacob Gardner, zoning member of GDA; Garden District Security District President Fred Buras and Tom Lonergan; the association’s 2017 Terry-Parkerson Award recipient, Frank Tessier, and Carli; Wendell and Katie LeGardeur, whose restoration project is imminent; and Bill and Bobbi Trufant, who’re glad to be back in their home after it was fire damaged.

And, Laura and Edward Moise, Nancy and Cocie Rathborne, Katie Witry and Todd Riche, Judy and Eli Tullis, Peter and Raelynn Loop, Harvey Burns, Andy and Kelsey Thayer, Eileen Powers of the Louise S. McGehee School (a benefactor), Patricia Strachan, Jackie and Camille Cutrone, Mary Merle and Ted Laborde, Norma Jane Sabiston, Shelley Landrieu and David Spielman, Lynne Rothschild Stern and David Willenzik, Terry and Rand Voorhies, and dozens more. Whereas the focus was on a certain neighborhood, that of the Garden District, Annie and Jeff Strain broadened the horizons. They spearheaded a major Garden District effort to collect and deliver more than 600 boxes of Harvey flooding relief supplies to hundreds of families in her home state of Texas.


Cathedral Montessori School held its eighth annual MonteSoiree Silent Auction at the beautiful home of Dana and Steve Hansel. Guests were greeted by academic administrator and school founder Billie Anderson, Ph.D., who updated everyone on the expansion plans. In August of 2018, students 6-9 years old will be welcomed into the Montessori Elementary Classroom. The auction proceeds will provide professional development for the teachers, educational materials for the students, and support language, music and arts programs.

Among the attendees were CMS director Jan Weiner, auction Chairwoman Gabriella Francescon, auction Co-Chaircouple Laura and Ozzy Orwick, Julie and Kyle Sclafani, Brittany and Jude Toepfer, Anne Teague Landis and Cuyler Boad, Kelli and Michael Shoemaker, Zia and David Brown, and Andrew and Tonya Hansel. Along with hostess Dana, Tonya arranged the flowers. Joe Cea played the piano, Peter Dandridge donated and handcrafted the dessert room, and two choice items stirred up auction excitement: student-created water color weaves and an exclusive Jamaican villa stay at the Hermosa Cove. The thrilled “winners” were Gabriella Francescon and Geromy Moore for the weaves and Erin and David Boswell for the Jamaican jaunt.

Two days before the MonteSoiree, Dana Hansel opened her home for the fall Sustainer Social of the Junior League of New Orleans. Good times took on a seasonal salute.